Pandora: Bourne again? Damon offers hope to his fans

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The Independent Online

News, now, to brighten any film buff's day: from the sound of things, the famous Bourne franchise may actually be back on track.

Fans were left floundering at the end of last year, when it emerged that an alleged row between studio bosses had forced the series' British director Paul Greengrass to quit.

At the time Greengrass denied rumours of a spat, but walked away from the project nonetheless. It appeared that his departure would signal the end of the much-loved series, since the films' star, Matt Damon, had yet to agree to appear in the next instalment, which had been provisionally planned for a 2011 release.

Now, however, it seems a solution to the Greengrass problem has been found.

"There will probably be a prequel of some kind with another actor and another director before we do another one," Damon tells Pandora. Still – one word of caution for fans; the follow-up is unlikely to come too soon. "I think we're probably five years away from another one," explains Damon. It's a cliffhanger.

Freeman fails to catch rugger bug

Morgan Freeman plays the former South African president Nelson Mandela in forthcoming film Invictus. Still, he hasn't been converted by the country's love of rugby. "I'm not a fan," he told us at the film's premiere on Sunday. "I still don't know what it is about. They do much the same thing as American football players, but in American football you get a little bit of protection. Rugby-short pants and T-shirts? That's not good enough." Stand by for the rugby fans' backlash.

Archbishop's Christian gesture

Spare a thought for the staff at Swiss International Air Lines, who were tasked with informing an assortment of bigwigs returning from the World Economic Forum at Davos that they had overbooked the plane and would need some of the business class passengers to move to economy. Luckily for them, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was on board, and promptly offered to trade in his seat."It was very nice of him," says our spy. "The last I saw him, he was at the back of the queue to board." How very Christian.

Lumley: I have no literary longings

Last summer, the historian Chris Bellamy told us of his plans to immortalise Joanna Lumley's campaign in support of the Gurkhas' battle for pension rights with a new, "definitive" history of the Nepalese soldiers.

At the time, Bellamy said he had not had any indication whether or not Lumley herself would be willing to contribute, though he said he would be "delighted" if she did.

Naturally, Pandora took it upon ourselves to extend the suggestion to Lumley but, sadly, it appears that a collaboration isn't on the table.

"I won't be involved in any books," the actress told us at a recent party. "I know there are some being written but I think I'd better leave it to them."

It's like a zoo in there. Oh, wait...

Hats off to the minister for the third sector, Angela Smith. An ardent animal rights supporter, we're told that Smith has ruled herself out of a conference next week on the grounds that its venue, the London Zoo, is at odds with her patronage of the Captive Animals' Protection Society. She will, apparently, be sending Dawn Butler, minister for young citizens, in her place instead. Principled indeed. Well, either that or very good at coming up with excuses.

pandora@independent.co.uk

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